Category Archives: advocacy

Francis Laforest: Poirier Enquete: Saison 1 / Épisode 03

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Poirier Enquete va continuer ce soir avec l’histoire de Francis Laforest:

Francis Laforest, copropriétaire du Bistro McTavish à Terrebonne, a 29 ans lorsqu’on l’agresse sur le boulevard Terrebonne. Deux individus cagoulés sortent d’une camionnette, le frappent avec un bâton de baseball, puis le laissent pour mort. Il décède peu après, à l’hôpital. Bien qu’aucun suspect n’ait été arrêté, on soupçonne des motards criminalisés qui voulaient gérer la vente de drogue au McTavish, mais les Laforest résistaient au chantage. Depuis le meurtre, deux des suspects ont disparu.

Le dossier fait partie du portefeuille cold-case de la Sûreté du Québec (SQ a compétence sur Terrebonne – clique ici)

Voici ici pour un extrait (non disponible aux Etats-Unis)

Aggression: Compton, QC – 1977

Gilliard House, Compton. 2016

Gilliard House, Compton. 2016

Une femme qui était un étudiant au collège Champlain (et en résidence à King Hall, Compton) en 1977 m’a contacté ce matin. Pendant l’année scolaire 1977-1978, elle et quelques amis ont été auto-stop retour de Lennoxville à Compton.

J’ai détaillé beaucoup de comptes comme celui-ci. Vous pouvez trouver un affichage sur le sujet ici (cliquez ici).

King's Hall, Compton. 2016

King’s Hall, Compton. 2016

Je reçois beaucoup de courriels comme celui-ci. Mais ils sont rarement ce détail (et effrayant) – et elle-même m’a prévenu des compromis de la mémoire. En outre, il est pas un seul compte, il est trois témoins (oui, je leur nom):

À l’automne ’77 ou Spring ’78 (je sais qu’il n’y avait pas de neige au sol) deux amis et je raté la navette mi après-midi du campus et a commencé à l’auto-stop Kings Hall. Je pense que nous sommes allés chercher juste après la dernière barre à droite à la sortie de Lennoxville. Je ne me rappelle pas le nom de ce bar, qui a été fréquenté par la population locale. Je suis dans le dos et a glissé vers derrière le conducteur, laissant place à un ami à côté de moi, l’autre ami a obtenu à l’avant. La voiture était plus âgé, pas «battre» dans le sens des dommages, ce que nous avons appelé un «tacot». Cela m’a rappelé un vieux taxi avec deux sièges de style banc et avec la suspension en vrac et les manœuvres d’une grosse voiture américaine, plus bateau comme de voiture. Je ne me souviens pas de la couleur de la voiture, mais ce ne fut pas quelque chose de flashy ou hors de l’ordinaire.

De l’arrière, je pensais que le conducteur était “vieux”. Pour 17 ans je devine que cela signifiait plus vieux que mon père qui aurait été 52 à ce moment-là. Mon impression était qu’il était à court et même sur le léger côté. Il nous a conduits une partie du chemin à Compton mais a tourné à gauche sur une route secondaire, va dans le mauvais sens pour nous emmener à Kings Hall. Au départ, nous avons supposé qu’il arrêterait mais il a continué à conduire en dépit de nos protestations. À une courte distance Susan, sur le siège avant, a crié quelque chose, peut-être “arrêter la voiture putain”. En ce moment, le conducteur a ralenti un peu pour traverser ce qui aurait pu une bosse ou voie ferrée? Il n’y avait rien autour, pas de maisons, des voitures ou des personnes. Elle ouvrit la porte de la voiture pendant que nous avançons, à quel point le conducteur a ralenti encore plus et elle a sauté. Cela le surprit assez qu’il a arrêté assez longtemps pour que ceux d’entre nous dans le dos pour brouiller out. Il partit en avant. Nous sommes arrivés à la route principale et je pense que nous étions soit ramassé par la navette de l’école ou peut-être marché le reste du chemin.

En 2012, je revis Kings Hall, a été rappelé l’histoire, et est arrivé de passer un officier de police stationné dans la ville de Compton. En fait, je lui ai dit arrêté pour l’histoire et laissé mon numéro de téléphone au cas où la mort de votre sœur était toujours sous enquête. Je me suis toujours regretté que nous ne disons rien à l’administration scolaire de cet incident. Ma seule excuse était mon jugement catastrophique comme dix-sept ans, plus de peur que mes parents pourraient découvrir que j’avais été l’auto-stop.

Alors, voici ma question: la police de Compton suivi à ce sujet? Signalez-le à HQ? Signalez-le à la Sûreté du Québec? Demandez à quelqu’un dans la communauté si elles se souviennent de quelque chose? Conduire la route (probablement la Rivière Moe – nous avons entendu beaucoup de comptes menant à là) pour voir si elle bocaux des souvenirs? Faire n’importe quoi?

Je pensais que cela irréaliste, pas plus. Il est un de 38 ans à cold-case: il n’y a rien à perdre. Et en outre…

c’est ce que de bons officiers de police font.

Aggression: Compton, QC – 1977

King's Hall, Compton. 2016

King’s Hall, Compton. 2016

A women who was a student at Champlain college (and in residence at King’s Hall, Compton) in 1977 contacted me this morning. During the 1977-78 academic year she and some friends were hitchhiking back from Lennoxville to Compton.

I have detailed a lot of accounts like this. You can find a posting on the subject here (click here).

Gilliard House, Compton. 2016

Gilliard House, Compton. 2016

I receive a lot of emails like this. But rarely are they this detailed (and frightening) – and she herself warned me of the compromises of memory. Also, it’s not a single account, it’s three witnesses (yes, I have their names):

In Fall ’77 or Spring ’78 (I know there was no snow on the ground) two friends and I missed the mid afternoon shuttle from campus and started hitchhiking to King’s Hall. I think we got picked up just past the last bar on the right on the way out of Lennoxville. I can’t recall the name of this bar, which was patronized by locals. I got in the back and slid over to behind the driver, leaving room for one friend beside me, the other friend got in the front. The car was older, not “beat up” in the sense of damage, what we would have called a “clunker”. It reminded me of an old taxi with two bench style seats and with the loose suspension and maneuvering of a large american car, more boat like than car. I cannot recall the colour of the car, but it was not something flashy or out of the ordinary. 

From the back I thought the driver was “old”. To a 17 year old I am guessing this meant older than my father who would have been 52 at that time. My impression was that he was short and even on the slight side. He drove us part way to Compton but then turned left onto a side road, going the wrong way to take us to Kings Hall. Initially we assumed he would stop but he kept driving despite our protestations. Within a short distance Susan, in the front seat, shouted something, maybe “stop the fucking car”. Just then the driver slowed a little to cross what might have been a bump or railroad tracks? There was nothing around, no houses, cars or people. She opened the car door while we were moving, at which point the driver slowed down even more and she jumped out. This startled him enough that he stopped long enough for those of us in the back to scramble out.  He drove off ahead. We got to the main road and I think we were either picked up by the school shuttle or possibly walked the rest of the way.

In 2012 I revisited Kings Hall, was reminded of the story, and happened to pass a police officer parked in the town of Compton. I actually stopped to told her the story and left my phone number in case your sister’s death was still under investigation. I always regretted that we did not say anything to the school administration about this incident. My only excuse was my abysmal judgement as a seventeen year old plus fear that my parents might find out I had been hitchhiking. 

So here’s my question: Compton police follow up on this? Report it to HQ? Report it to the Surete du Quebec? Ask anyone in the community if they remember anything? Drive the road (probably Moe’s River – we’ve heard lots of accounts leading to there) to see if it jars any memories? Do anything?

I used to think this unrealistic, not anymore. It’s a 38 year old cold-case: there is nothing to lose. And besides…

that’s what good police officers do.

 

 

Who watches the watchmen, Mr. Coiteux?

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I noticed the following on Twitter yesterday afternoon:

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Now there’s nothing wrong with Martin Coiteux enjoying the Montreal Grand Prix, I just found it slightly inappropriate that he would be using his public Twitter account to do so:

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Then I was quickly reminded that Mr. Coiteux actually holds two offices in the Liberal cabinet:

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There’s nothing illegal about dual mandates. However there is something that smells entirely inappropriate about the Minister of Municipal Affairs also being the Minister of Public Safety. 

Depending on who you believe, the economic impact of the Montreal Grand Prix is estimated at anywhere between $42M to $89M. With all that cash coming to town, you wouldn’t say, want to admit you might have a problem with prostitution and human trafficking, in fact, to keep everyone happy, you might even wish to turn a blind-eye to the problem, as evidenced by the following in last  week’s Gazette:

The Canadian Grand Prix weekend means big business for Montreal’s sex trade, as partying race fans roar into the city on their annual pilgrimage.

Experts say major international sporting events, such as the World Cup and the Olympics, raise the demands for young, female prostitutes.

Montreal’s annual high-octane extravaganza is no exception, but many of the sex workers who are used to fill the commercial void are unwilling participants, human rights activists say.

The article goes on to say that enforcement fn the sex-tourism trade in Canada has been “slack”:

(UBC law professor Benjamin Perrin) also said Canada has lagged when it comes to rounding up sex tourists, who travel abroad abusing children. Perrin said sex tourism drives human trafficking around the world.

Canada, meanwhile, has convicted only one person in the past decade on sex-tourism charges, he said.

“We’ve really fallen behind globally in preventing our child-sex offenders from exploiting children in impoverished countries overseas,” said Perrin, the founder of The Future Group, a non-governmental organization dedicated to ending human trafficking.

The same is true for police forces. A Public Safety Minister who is also a Municipal Affairs Minister wouldn’t want to look to closely at the Montreal police who appear to be spiraling out of control, that could hurt tourism:

Montreal police chief stays coy about probe into ethical breaches

And just think of the negative economic impacts of admitting sexual predators and – here I’ll say it – serial killers have been preying on the province for decades?

You can’t serve two interests, M. Coiteux. It may not be illegal, but it is certainly inappropriate and unethical.

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Qui garde les gardiens, Martin Coiteux?

J’ai remarqué ce qui suit sur Twitter hier après-midi:

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Donc, il n’y a rien mal de Martin Coiteux profiter du Grand Prix de Montréal, je viens de découvrir légèrement inapproprié qu’il utiliserait son compte Twitter public de le faire:

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Ensuite, on m’a rapidement rappelé que M. Coiteux détient effectivement deux bureaux dans le cabinet libéral:

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Il n’y a rien d’illégal à un double mandat. Cependant, il y a quelque chose qui sent tout à fait inapproprié de la ministre des Affaires municipales étant également le ministre de la Sécurité publique.

En fonction de qui vous croyez, l’impact économique du Grand Prix de Montréal est estimé à quelque part entre 42M $ à 89M $. Avec tout ce que l’argent provenant de la ville, vous ne diriez pas, veulent admettre que vous pourriez avoir un problème avec la prostitution et la traite des personnes, en fait, pour garder tout le monde heureux, vous pourriez même avoir envie de tourner un oeil aveugle au problème, comme en témoigne ce qui suit dans la Gazette de la semaine dernière:

Le week-end du Grand Prix signifie la grande entreprise pour le commerce du sexe de Montréal, les amateurs de course de la fête rugissent dans la ville sur leur pèlerinage annuel.

Les experts disent que les grands événements sportifs internationaux, tels que la Coupe du Monde et les Jeux Olympiques, élever les exigences pour les jeunes, les femmes prostituées.

extravaganza-haut indice d’octane annuel de Montréal ne fait pas exception, mais la plupart des travailleurs du sexe qui sont utilisés pour combler le vide commercial sont des participants involontaires, disent les militants des droits de l’homme.

L’article poursuit en disant que l’application fn le commerce du tourisme sexuel au Canada a été «slack»:

( professeur de droit de UBC Benjamin Perrin) a également dit que le Canada a pris du retard en ce qui concerne l’arrondissement des touristes sexuels, qui Voyage à l’étranger qui abusent des enfants. Perrin a déclaré le tourisme sexuel entraîne la traite des personnes dans le monde entier.

Canada, quant à lui, a condamné une seule personne dans la dernière décennie sur les frais du tourisme sexuel, dit-il.

«Nous avons vraiment pris du retard au niveau mondial dans la prévention de nos agresseurs sexuels d’enfants de l’exploitation des enfants dans les pays pauvres à l’étranger», a déclaré Perrin, le fondateur de The Future Group, une organisation non gouvernementale qui se consacre à mettre fin à la traite des personnes.

La même chose est vraie pour les forces de police. Un ministre de la Sécurité publique qui est également ministre des Affaires municipales ne voudrait pas se tourner vers de près la police de Montréal qui semblent échapper à tout contrôle, cela pourrait nuire au tourisme:

Chef de la police de Montréal reste discret sur la sonde en manquement à l’éthique

Et il suffit de penser aux impacts économiques négatifs d’admettre les prédateurs sexuels et – ici, je vais le dire – les tueurs en série ont été en prennent sur la province depuis des décennies?

Vous ne pouvez servir deux intérêts, M. Coiteux. Il ne peut pas être illégal, mais il est certainement inappropriée et contraire à l’éthique.

Stuart Peacock: an update

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The Surete du Quebec called me on friday. Here are a few updates that they gave me:

  • Although over the last 16 years the Surete du Quebec has given me several assurances that I was granted access to EVERYTHING in my sister’s cold-case file, it now turns out that this is not true. There exists a final report from detective Roch Gaudreault, but because of “issues of confidentiality” I am not allowed to see it. The SQ assured me that I could always make an access-to-information request to try and obtain the file.
  • Exhuming the body: I again asked the SQ if they had any interest in exhuming the body to see if there were any physical DNA evidence on Theresa from the perpetrator.  The SQ is still taking this under consideration.

Finally, I thought I should mention that the second episode of Poirier Enquete is now streaming on the Historia website. It covers the murder of Jolene Riendeau (click here).

The program is not available for viewing in the United States.

Seven Plays: Number One

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I am waiting for some decisions. It will take about two more weeks. While we wait, I thought I might blend some of my personal life a bit. 

In the last 5 years I have consciously attempted to make this website about facts, not feelings. This not some personal exploration, it’s about crime details that need scrutiny. Saying that, I am sharing this because 1. I have a little time to open up.  2. What I am about to share is not unrelated to the overall picture. So…

There’s been this thing going around social media: name seven theatrical plays you were in, then share with others… You know, a social media thing.
Well I’ve been tagged in this meme, and I’ve avoided it. I thought it stupid, a forum for self-promotion. I really don’t see a reason to reflect on recent theatre memories.

( Let me stop here and say, I am an actor. I have always been an actor. Whenever I am not advocating for victims rights, working, spending time with my kids… I AM USUALLY IN A PLAY.) 

But… So…  going further back? That’s interesting. Memory and nostalgia are the back-bone of social media. And if I can use that forum to tell a story? Ok, I’m in.  If you listen closely you will see why this is relevant to this website.  

So here is my 7 part theatre-story, taken out of chronological order. 
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Episode 1

There was this kid. His name was Michael Merrick…

I’m already getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning. I was fresh out of acting school in NYC. I needed an acting gig. I auditioned for The Alley Theatre, and was hired as an acting intern.

So I moved to Houston, Texas. As an intern you were expected to shut-up and understudy. I got lucky. The opening show was As You Like It, and I understudied Jaques / John Franklin-Feltch. More lucky: I got assigned the hunter speech, you know… we are introduced to Arden and some unknown comes on stage a laments the killing of a stag, and how Jaques wept at the site of it. This part is usually cut. Miraculously, Greg Boyd kept it, and I got to be front and center (Greg’s first big mistake).

But there was this kid. His name was Michael Merrick. He was a little younger than me, and had just graduated from the theater program at the University of Houston…

So the photo? That’s me on the left, and Gage Tarrant on the right. As interns we were fifth business. When not doing a Stag Speech, we were eye-candy, filling in at the sidelines and providing moves and percussion.

After the Stag Speech I became arrogant. I won’t go into details, who cares. Let’s just say that I believed my worth to the Alley was greater than the Alley’s worth to me.

So they did what any business would do in that position. They stopped using me.

So there was this kid…

I saw Michael Merrick in an Alley production of One Flew Over The Cucloo’s Nest. He had a NOTHING role. He was one of the orderlies. He was the most captivating thing in the show. I could not take my eyes off him.

My first response was panic and threat. I didn’t know what to do. This guy – a townie – was seriously encroaching on my plans.

Then it got worse.

By some chance we met up in a bar in Houston. I found him charming, genuine and wickedly funny. I remember we shared a love for The Dukes of Stratosphere, the XTC 60s parody band that threw mimicry on its ear into music method-acting. How could I hate an enemy that I so deeply admired?

I moved from Houston to Toronto. The reasons were varied, but mostly, I was never gonna shine in a world where John Franklin-Feltch existed: we were too physically similar, and he was too talented.

Later, I moved to LA.

I saw Michael Merrick for the last time at an audition in West Hollywood. I tried to recapture the Houston magic, but he seemed distant.

Soon after, Michael Merrick died of a heroin overdose.

This is for those who don’t get a chance to shine in the 15-minute social media light. This is for the forgotten, but never forgotten by me. This is for the deeply gifted that inspired me, and not because I might later need a favor.

This is for Gage, who only today I learned was a close friend to Michael, and considered him like a little brother.

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The improvised logic of the Surete du Quebec

I believe in a process where two opposing parties should be civil in the interest of resolving their differences, but occasionally I need to call, “Bullshit”

For some months now, I have been working on a project with Claude Poirier. Claude is a pioneer journalist in Quebec. Back in-the-day, he had a page in Allo Police dedicated to the “police blotter”, it was sort of an update on what prominent cops where doing in the province. Through my research I became very familiar with Claude’s writing. For some years he had a show on Sunday evenings about justice affairs. He was once a regular on Paul Arcand’s morning radio show, one of the top talk-radio programs in Quebec. I have become a great admirer of his work.

Note that SQ's Fauchon (who we have written about in these cases) was sent to France for the Mesrine trial

Note that the SQ’s Yvon Fauchon (who worked several of these cases) was sent to France for the Mesrine trail.

 

Poirier now has a new venture. Next month Historia (Quebec’s History Channel) will premiere L’Enquete Poirier. The one hour program will feature unsolved crimes in Quebec, with interviews conducted by Claude (Poirier is a skilled negotiator and interviewer). I was in the Eastern Townships last month to film and interview with Claude’s team. They will be doing an hour program on my sister, Theresa Allore’s case, but that is still in production and won’t air until season two in the Spring of 2017.

Suzanne DeRome who was featured in the W-5 story, back again with L'Enquete Poirier

Suzanne DeRome, who was featured in the W-5 story, back again with L’Enquete Poirier

 

So back to the Surete du Quebec. Poirier’s team was keen to interview Roch Gaudreault, the SQ detective who was the head investigator on Theresa’s case. Recall that Gaudreault has always maintained that Theresa died of a drug overdose, despite the fact that there is no evidence to substantiate that theory. When a researcher with L’Enquete Poirier contacted Gaudreault by telephone and asked if he would appear on camera, he stated that he was willing, but would need permission from the Surete du Quebec (BTW: He still maintained his drug overdose theory).

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I was asked to broker the deal. I visited the head of the Surete du Quebec’s cold-case unit in April, and asked him if he would consider allowing Roch Gaudreault to speak on camera with Claude Poirier. I was told that this was quite common – old-timers often wanted to have the assurances of their former employers before they publicly talked about an historical case. And anyway, the SQ were great admirers of Poirier, I could expect their full cooperation.

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Claude Poirier, Compton, QC, May 2016

 

Now all of this struck me as rather odd. In 2005 Roch Gaudreault went on camera when CTV’s W-5 did an hour show on Theresa. He was retired then, and felt very comfortable suggesting the drug overdose theory. So why did he suddenly need permission?

Something else transpired in that meeting with the SQ. They wanted me to know that they had good investigators. They had good investigators in the 1970s, and they had good investigators today. I assured them that I believed they had good investigators, but I emphatically insisted that they would never get me to agree that Roch Gaudreault was one of them. On that suggestion we would have to agree to disagree.

Cut forward a month. In early May I was back at the Surete du Quebec headquarters in Montreal, but by now Gaudreault was refusing to do the interview. So I asked the SQ, did Roch change his mind, or did his former employer change his mind for him?

I was told that I had to understand: in order for Roch to go on camera, he would need to have the right information, and that would mean going back and looking at all the evidence in the case to re-familiarize himself with the investigation. This would mean traveling to Montreal from L’Estrie, and he was a senior citizen in his 80s now: he could not make the trip.

Again, odd. He spoke very candidly in 2005, why now this insistence on researching the case?

There is of course the irreconcilable fact that if Roch was going to continue espousing a drug overdose theory, it would fly in contrast with the evidence: “marks of strangulation”… “violent death of undetermined means”, and that this apparently was the theory with which the current SQ was running (if that’s not true, then why have her case prominently displayed on their cold case webpage?).

The SQ then again insisted that Roch Gaudreault was a good investigator. They had talked to old-timers from that era that worked with him an they all said… Roch Gaudreault was a good investigator. One of the best.

I let it go. When I got home something occurred to me. In all the information I had reviewed,  all the paper in the Surete du Quebec’s file on Theresa’s case – reports, testimonials, mug shots – I had never seen one official police document from Roch Gaudreault. I had seen Leo Hamel’s report (the head of the Lennoxville police), but where was Roch’s report? The only conclusions in the file are made by Leo Hamel and coroner Michel Durand. If Roch was so good then why had he failed to file his final report?

I put this question to the SQ in an email. The wrote back, “I will explain it to you.”. Yesterday I got a phone call, and they did.

I was told that certain evidence is always held back. The police couldn’t show me every detail because that might jeopardize the investigation. Little details that only the criminal might know, these they could not disclose to me, and that is why I never saw Roch’s report.

All of that is understandable. I don’t expect to know everything the police know. If they worked like that they could never obtain a criminal conviction. There are just two problems with this logic:

Ten years ago when I reviewed all the case evidence I asked the SQ, “Is that everything?”. Sargent Michel Tanguay of the Surete du Quebec (now, no doubt, retired) assured me that it was: I had seen all the case evidence in the file. 

So I guess that was a lie.

Second – and more important – what could possibly be in Roch’s report that could jeopardize the investigation? For that matter, what investigation? Roch said it was a drug overdose. There’s nothing to investigate. There shouldn’t be any salient detail that only the criminal might know because – according to his theory – there wasn’t a crime: there was no criminal.

So I asked the SQ: In Roch report, is the final conclusion a drug overdose or was that – also – a lie?

They said they would look again at the file and get back to me next week.

 

Réponse du ministre de la Sécurité publique du Québec, Martin Coiteux

martin-coiteux

 

La réponse du bureau de Martin Coiteux est superficielle, et ne commence pas à répondre aux préoccupations exprimées dans notre demande initiale. Le chef de la sécurité pour la province devrait avoir de profondes inquiétudes pour la sécurité publique, en particulier compte tenu de la preuve documentée de la destruction des preuves dans les services de police et à travers plusieurs décennies. Aucun montant de la formation à l’Ecole Nicolet va remédier à cette situation.

Les défaillances systémiques dans des enquêtes au Québec proviennent d’une culture de l’incompétence et de l’indifférence qui commence au sommet du ministère tout en bas de la force de police plus petite dans la province.

Nous allons poursuivre notre demande au ministre Coiteux, en ajoutant les noms des victimes, jusqu’à ce que le ministre de la Sécurité publique fait des efforts sérieux pour réformer les pratiques d’enquête de la police dans la province de Québec.
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Ceci est un lien vers la réponse Coiteux: response Coiteux
 
Voici les nouvelles de ce matin de Joanne Bayly de CBC Montréal:
 
ministre de la Sécurité publique dit non à enquête publique sur les enquêtes de meurtre

Voici un lien vers les nouvelles de ce matin par Catherine Montambeault dans La Presse:

Enquêtes non résolues : une réponse « insultante »du ministre Coiteux

Et voici quelques histoires d’il y a quelques semaines au sujet de mes activités dans les Cantons de l’Est au début du mois de mai:

La Presse: Affaire Theresa Allore: son frère refuse d’abandonner
Radio Canada: Meurtre de Theresa Allore : son frère poursuit les recherches

Response from Quebec Minister of Public Safety Martin Coiteux

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The response from the office of Martin Coiteux is perfunctory, and does not begin to address the concerns expressed in our original request. The head of security for the province should have deep concerns for public safety, especially given the documented proof of the destruction of cold-case evidence across police agencies and across several decades. No amount of training at the Ecole Nicolet is going to remedy this situation.

The systemic failures in cold-case investigations in Quebec come from a culture of incompetence and indifference which begins at the top of the Ministry all the way down to the smallest police force in the province. 

We will continue our demand to Minister Coiteux, adding names of cold-case victims, until the Minister of Public Security makes some serious efforts to reform police investigative practices in the province of Quebec.
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This is a link to the Coiteux response: response Coiteux
Here is this morning’s coverage on this matter by CBC Montreal’s Joanne Bayly: 
And here are some stories from a few weeks ago about my activities in the Eastern Townships in early May: